There is seriously a “Pie Lady” in Pie Town, New Mexico, and this charming, mouth-watering short documentary explains how that all came to be.
How did you find out about Pie Town?
My husband and I were on a road trip in New Mexico and ended up at the VLA (Very Large Array), 27 radio telescopes in the San Augustin Plains. It was featured prominently in the film Contact with Jody Foster. In the gift shop there was a sign with mileage to various cities and it said: “Pie Town - 44 Miles.” Of course I was amused, and asked the clerk, “What’s in Pie Town?” She looked me square in the eye and, with a slight pause and no humor whatsoever, replied “pie.” That’s when I met Kathy for the first time in 2006. It was 2012 that I went back and then it occurred to me she would make a good subject for a film. (P.S. Jody Foster very foolishly never went to Pie Town for pie.)
Were you aware of this almost spiritual connection that people have to pie?
I know that pie is very American and mom and all that, but not until I was immersed in the creating of the film (which took two years and a lot of pie tastings) did I realize that spiritual connection, as you observed. Her commitment to carry on her mom’s dream, her persistence, the way she so candidly and emphatically expressed herself to me about the process, and mostly just watching her create the pies — each one as if it were her first — impressed me deeply. She never speaks of pie without love, even when she’s exhausted and overwhelmed. Pie is her vehicle for love. As the woman says in the film “pie can bring peace” and I think Kathy serves every piece with peace.
So how is the pie there? What’s your favorite?
The pie really is exceptional. She doesn’t load her pies with too much sugar, leaving more room to savor the taste of the berries, or the chocolate, or whatever. And I dare say you can taste the love. The pie, and Kathy, make a delicious team. You sit in this pie shop in the middle of nowhere, you feel the history, you enjoy Kathy’s enthusiasm, and it already feels like you’re in a movie it’s so surreal.
And my favorite pie…well, I grew up in Michigan so cherry pie tops my list. Maybe that sounds too mundane but let me tell you, in Pie Town, it’s divine.